When it comes to NFL football and NFL draft picks, most if not all of the attention gets paid to the so-called talent or skill positions such as quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, linebackers, and defensive backs. Very little attention is paid to the offensive and defensive linemen, unless you're a defensive lineman that puts up big quarterback sack numbers. The Miami Dolphins selected offensive tackle Jake Long out of the University of Michigan as their number one overall draft pick in this year's NFL Draft. Only two times in the history of the NFL Draft has a team selected an offensive tackle with the number one overall draft pick, how has that worked out for those previous NFL Football teams?
In 1968 the Minnesota Vikings selected offensive tackle Ron Yary out of the University of Southern California with the number one pick overall. Yary went on to play 15 seasons in the NFL, 14 of them with the Vikings. He was a seven time NFL Football Pro Bowl selection and a six time first team NFL All-Pro selection. Ron Yary also ranks 21st overall in NFL Football history in terms of number of playoff games started. The ultimate comment on Yary's career was made in 2001 when he was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This offensive linemen drafted in the first round numberone overall of the NFL draft paid big dividends
It happened again in 1997 when the St. Louis Rams selected Ohio State offensive lineman Orlando Pace with the number one overall pick. Pace is still an active player in the NFL and as of the end of the 2007 season and had already been selected to seven consecutive Pro Bowls (1999-2005) and has been a first team All-Pro selection on three occasions. Most football authorities are of the opinion that Orlando Pace will also be in the Hall of Fame following his career in the NFL.
So twice before teams have used the number one overall pick on an offensive tackle and twice that player has gone on to have a Hall of Fame career. This is no guarantee that 2008 Jake Long will have that type of career with the Miami Dolphins, but the track record and previous outlook does look good for them.
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